May 3, 2023
Wang’s lab focuses on the motion, dynamics and mechanics of DNA; how DNA motor proteins collide and navigate through roadblocks; and DNA topology during transcription and replication. These highly complex problems require the development of real-time techniques to decipher the actions of multiple players, while also simultaneously allowing the ability to mechanically control, alter and measure DNA topology. Wang’s lab has pioneered several technologies that mimic DNA-based biological processes, including “DNA unzipping” and optical trapping. She joined the Cornell faculty in 1998; among her honors is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow Award (1999-2001) and election to the American Physical Society in 2009.
May 3, 2023
Debanjan Chowdhury uses a variety of theoretical techniques to study and predict the quantum properties of trillions of interacting electrons in interesting materials, ranging from high-temperature superconductors to exotic magnets. His contributions have been recognized by a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and by a Sloan research fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation.
April 13, 2023
Some classical computers have error correction built into their memories based on bits; quantum computers, to be workable in the future, will need error correction mechanisms, too, based on the vastly more sensitive qubits. Cornell Professor Eun-Ah Kim and former Bethe/KIC/Wikins postdoctoral fellow Yuri Lensky (now at Google) have recently taken a step toward fault-tolerant quantum computing: they constructed a simple model containing exotic particles called non-Abelian anyons, compact and practical enough to run on modern quantum hardware. Realizing these particles, which can only exist in two dimensions, is a move towards implementing it in the real world.
March 21, 2023
A model system created by stacking a pair of monolayer semiconductors is giving physicists a simpler way to study confounding quantum behavior, from heavy fermions to exotic quantum phase transitions. The group’s paper, “Gate-Tunable Heavy Fermions in a Moiré Kondo Lattice,” published March 15 in Nature. The lead author is postdoctoral fellow Wenjin Zhao in the Kavli Institute at Cornell. The project was led by Kin Fai Mak, professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Jie Shan, professor of applied and engineering physics in Cornell Engineering and in A&S, the paper’s co-senior authors. Both researchers are members of the Kavli Institute; they came to Cornell through the provost’s Nanoscale Science and Microsystems Engineering (NEXT Nano) initiative.
March 17, 2023
As a freshman, Dan Ralph was inspired by an engaging physics teacher who Ralph considered a Yoda-like character who was very good at posing problems that helped them understand what they were learning. Dan Ralph as co-director of Kavli Institute at Cornell (KIC) states "We're constantly looking for new puzzles, new problems, and new areas of research that people haven't considered before. Some involve fundamental science questions while others are more about engineering, but they are all areas where research can make a difference."
March 9, 2023
A physics theory that’s proven useful to predict the crowd behavior of molecules and fruit flies also seems to work in a very different context – a basketball court. A model based on density functional theory can suggest the best positioning for each player on the basketball court in a given scenario if they want to raise their probability of either scoring or defending successfully. Boris Barron, a doctoral student in physics working with Tomás Arias, professor in the Department of Physics, in the College of Arts and Sciences, presented his work on March 9 at the American Physical Society conference in Las Vegas.
February 27, 2023
Itai Cohen describes the challenge of building robots as consisting of two distinct parts: the brain of the robot, and the brawn. The brain refers to the microchip, and the brawn refers to the “legs,” or actuating limbs of the robot. Between these two, the brain – believe it or not – is the easy part.
February 23, 2023
Over the next three to five years, each will receive approximately $400,000 to $600,000 from the program, which supports early-career faculty “who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization,” according to the NSF. Each funded project must include an educational component. Debanjan Chowdhury's Group will develop new theoretical methods for studying these electronic phases. The educational component will include a new podcast series on quantum materials research, workshops for high school science teachers, and undergraduate and graduate student mentoring.